something old, something new

Listening to the decemberists while i catch up at work. hazards of love really is incredible when taken in start-to-finish. Sometimes I forget how much I like them.

Speaking of forgetting things, get this delightful story from commercial street antique shopping:

Looking for vintage furniture, I wandered into Bridgefield Galleries: Catfish and Crystal Shoppe. Take in that name for a second, right? This place is an antiquer’s dream: all the crammed wall-to-wallness of a flea market with none of the musty crap. The owners curate it well, and greet you with grandparental warmth.
They let me go about my business while I shopped, but I couldn’t resist asking what’s the story behind “catfish and crystal.” The two guys looked at each other and lit up, apparently eager to have someone to tell their old stories to.

Turns out they both used to live in St. Louis, and frequented a swank cafeteria downtown that had an ornately decorated Catfish and Crystal room. They didn’t know each other then, so the name represents a little hidden connection of their friendship. This anecdote led to a tangent about Explorers Club in St. Louis, how Springfield needs to have one. (I can see these guys leading such a group, Carl-from-pixar’s-UP style.)
They got a little apologetic about their over-sharing, but I loved it all.
For the same reason I love antique stores. Now I look at my desk and wonder what will endure. What will my generation’s grandchildren treasure? My IKEA desk? My Dwight bobble-head? My ipod?

There’s something about OLD vs NEW. Stuff that has a past, a story. Back in my car, I jotted down everything I could remember, adding, “see? there are stories hiding everywhere. Recharged. This is what I miss.”

I believe there’s meaning tucked away in the corners of life. You have to look for it, ask questions to find it. (Maybe that’s also one reason i love the decemberists so much. their songs are about STORY. and their style is somewhat antique.) Thinking about myself sitting in my car, scribbling in my notebook (engine off, of course!), and that feeling I get, I wonder if this is how salmon must feel when they swim upstream: THIS IS CRAZY, BUT THIS IS WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO.

And I forget that sometimes.

I’m bummed that I haven’t had that feeling often enough lately.
Moments like that keep me going when i’m stretched rubber-band-right-before-it-snaps thin, between house and class and improv and work and writing and planning a trip to europe and trying to maintain relationships…(dang! being a grownup!)
That’s why I’m taking a New York Times Knowledge Network freelance writing class online right now–as if i have the extra time–because I need to prioritize what’s IMPORTANT and not just what’s URGENT. (thanks, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People!) I’m only a week in, but I think I’m going to learn a lot, both from the instructor and e-classmates.

Hopefully it will help me become a more intentional writer. If nothing else, you’ll have more blog posts to read…